I get a lot of comments from laptop users who don’t use one of the best convenience features in Windows XP.  Microsoft has included Standby and Hibernate options in the Shutdown menu for quite some time but since early implementations did not work very well people […]

I get a lot of comments from laptop users who don’t use one of the best convenience features in Windows XP.  Microsoft has included Standby and Hibernate options in the Shutdown menu for quite some time but since early implementations did not work very well people stopped using them.  Standby provides the ability to shut down your computer while providing just enough power to keep everything in memory which makes resuming your work very fast.  Hibernation (accessed by holding down the Shift key when the Shutdown menu is on the screen) is for longer periods of inactivity and writes the entire contents of memory to the hard disk. This takes longer to resume your work but is much quicker than booting the computer.  Standby uses a little bit of power to keep the memory "live" but Hibernation does not use any battery at all.

Tablet PC and UPC users are well aware how stable this has become since WinXP SP2.  The Standby and Hibernation functions work properly when used as designed and can greatly extend the battery life and get you up ad running very quickly.  Laptop owners should realize this too but from the comments I get many users are not using it because they still think it unstable or slow.  I also hear from users who state that they boot their laptop everyday and quite frankly there is just no good reason to do so.  These days the only time I boot my laptop or my UPC is when a Windows Update requires a restart. I booted my Sony U last night for the first time in about 3 weeks and haven’t booted my laptop in over a month.  So you laptop owners try Standby and Hibernation instead of shutting down totally, even if connected to power.   You will start up quicker in the mornings, and exert much less stress to the components in your laptop.

On my Sony U Standby and Resume takes just 2 seconds each and Hibernation just 10 seconds.

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By James Kendrick
  1. Good point and GREAT timing as I have been researching how to maximize portable battery life for the past 48 hours.

    Standby and Hibernate can work well for those on the go. I just timed both on a convertible Tablet PC: Standby shuts down in 2 seconds restarts in 5. Hibernate shuts down and starts up in roughly 13 seconds for each action. No more of the “Turn Off” option for me!


  2. I’ve heard stories of others having major problems with hibernate – i.e., requiring a complete re-load of XP. Granted, some of that may be attributed to their configuration, and I’m a firm believer that very few solitary programs cause problems on their own these days, but hear these has made me think twice about using it.

    Also, if I standby/resume too many times on my Thinkpad, I often find that my external USB 2.0 hub tends to act up. Probably my config! :)

  3. Weird. I’ve been doing both for a few years on laptops, and now on a Tablet, and I’ve never had any problems. It definitely makes working on battery last longer. I also blank my screen if I know I’ll need to write something momentarily, but don’t want to go to standby.

  4. I use hibernation a lot and only observed two problems ever (which are easy to circumnavigate):

    1) an older version of pgpdisk (a file encryption utility) broke the hibernation feature

    2) At some point some versions of kerio personal firewall caused serious problems. This has been fixed. in mor erecent versions, I believe. But the problem seems to be not too uncommon for personal firewalls in general.


  5. I’ve used hibernation mostly since I got my acer c100 two years ago (is it that long ago?). I agree that it’s often overlooked by most users, most likely because it’s hidden under the shift key.

    One thing I have found is that every few days I need to do a proper shutdown, as my tablet seems to get a little slower.

    I would like to see an “instant on” feature on a tablet like my pocket pc. I don’t see why the OS can’t be stored in ROM memory, which could be written to by the user… Dreaming again…

  6. I use standby on my tabletpc, but its started to get really slow coming out of standby, up to 1 or 2 minutes, I think its a XP issue as my dell d600 does it as well, its completely ruins the nice feature of having a tablet that you can flick on and off in a second…

    Love to know how to fix it, but I’m waiting to order the Tosh m200 as a replacement to my old fujistu ST4110.

    Never used the hybernate as I heard bad things about it as well screwing up the Fujistu XP installation..

  7. Every problem I have encountered with Standby or Hibernation has been caused by a specific program which wasn’t shutting down property. Utilities can often interfere with system functions. I recently tried MSN Search and removed it as it totally hosed the Standby function. If Standby stops working on your system try to determine which program is the culprit and disable it for a test. I use it on multiple systems, even desktops, with no problems at all.


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